communication

Is Your Boss a Reader or a Listener?

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Why is it important to know how my boss communicates?
  • How can I use this knowledge to my advantage?
  • Why is it important to communicate in the way my boss likes?

This cast describes how to determine your boss's preferred communication style, and how to be more effective knowing it.

We periodically get asked by corporate clients to help not just managers, but also individual contributors. Sometimes it's a highly effective performer who has relationship issues, and sometimes it's helping an entire organization, getting the directs on board with what their managers are doing with One on Ones, or Feedback, or even organizational change.

When we do work with groups other than managers, we get all kinds of questions about working with their boss. The first question we get, is how do I give feedback to my boss? For you long time listeners, you know the answer to that one – you don't. The question we don't often get, one we think is really good, is how can I influence my boss?

And the answer to that question starts with knowing how he or she communicates. Here's how to learn what's best for your boss and how to be more effective with it.

  1. Bosses (and Everyone Else) Tend to Be Either Readers or Listeners
  2. How To Tell Which Your Boss Is
  3. How To Be More Effective Knowing It


  [Play in Popup]

Portable Messaging Basics - Part 2

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Do I have to put my technology away?
  • What if something urgent happens?
  • How do I ask to be excused?

This cast concludes our Career Tools' recommendations for textual communications on portable devices.

  1. Put Your Device Away When You Are Addressed
  2. Don't Touch Your Device When Conversing
  3. Rare – RARE – Urgency Trumps This
  4. Ask To Be Excused
  5. And Finally, Interrupt Politely


  [Play in Popup]

Portable Messaging Basics - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Do I have to put my technology away?
  • What if something urgent happens?
  • How do I ask to be excused?

This cast describes Career Tools' recommendations for textual communications on portable devices.

If you've ever been talking to someone who was distracted and then proceeded to answer a text message, send an email, post on Facebook, "Tweet", or in any other way use their cell phone, smart phone, pager, or any other mobile device to communicate, this cast is for you. Feel free to start playing this cast for the offender, on your own mobile device, and then hit them over the head with it.

Here is Career Tools simple guidance for using mobile phones and messaging devices.

  1. Put Your Device Away When You Are Addressed
  2. Don't Touch Your Device When Conversing
  3. Rare – RARE – Urgency Trumps This
  4. Ask To Be Excused
  5. And Finally, Interrupt Politely


  [Play in Popup]

Greetings in DiSC®

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I greet people in different DiSC styles?
  • Why would I greet people differently by DiSC styles?
  • What words do I use when greeting people?

This cast explains a simple application of DiSC Behavior on greeting others.

Greeting others seems simple enough.  Most of us probably use the same greeting for everyone.  If we're greeting a lot of people, it sure makes it easier for us.

But if we greet everyone the same, roughly, how does that square with what Drucker teaches us: Communication is what the listener does?  It doesn't.  Most of us tend to communicate in ways that make sense to US, but that only works WELL with 25% of our potential audience.  Here's how to start making a better first impression even earlier in a conversation or professional exchange.


  [Play in Popup]

Change Leadership, What's My Visual - Part 1

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I create change management briefings?
  • How do I persuade people to change?
  • What preparation do I need to do before a change management effort?

This cast describes how to begin any effort to change an organization.

At some point, each of us as managers are either going to initiate a change, or have to manage our part of a larger change process. It's usually hard work, and if it's someone else's change process, we get the "squeeze": our directs expect us to know stuff which no one is telling us.

There's a better way. Manager Tools does work with corporate clients, and when we help with a change effort, we run a change playbook. The first step in any change effort is to create an EMOTIONAL appeal to those who will be involved in the change. And that is NEVER achieved with financially solid spreadsheets which show a clear cost-benefit win for the change.

Visual, emotional persuasion is the single biggest idea we have ever come across when it comes to change efforts. If you do this well, other stuff is much easier. If you don't, everything else is MUCH harder.


  [Play in Popup]

Feel, Felt, Found

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I overcome objections to my ideas?
  • How do I deal with conflict?
  • How do I empathise with others?

This cast describes a simple verbal tool for addressing tension, conflict or other ineffective emotions in the workplace.

Mark has finally gotten around to writing this cast down! Every time Mark teaches this technique to an executive or manager, he turns to Mike and says, "we gotta make this a cast." And then he doesn't. When you see this work the first time, you'll be surprised. In almost any situation, you'll see a noticeable lessening of the tension. You'll probably also feel better at moving forward PAST the frustration or difficulties that are being discussed. When you use this with your directs, it often helps begin the process of solution finding.

And to our good friend Rich Ruh, who told Mark this past week at our San Antonio conference that after reading Peter Drucker he was more comfortable around Mark because he realized all these great ideas weren't Mark's alone . . . Mark didn't make this one up either. ;-)


  [Play in Popup]

How to be Persuasive in a Presentation (Part 2 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What is the persuasion matrix?
  • How do I use the matrix?
  • Can I persuade anyone?

This cast describes the second part in our series how to think about being persuasive in a presentation.


  [Play in Popup]

How to be Persuasive in a Presentation (Part 1 of 2)

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • What is the persuasion matrix?
  • How do I use the matrix?
  • Can I persuade anyone?

This cast describes how to think about being persuasive in a presentation.

One of the most maligned arts in professional life today is persuasion. The classic case of persuasion falling out of favor is how often professional sales people are viewed as golfers with big expense accounts. Or, perhaps even more perniciously, why is it that all of the sales roles in technology firms are called "Business Development"? Sales is associated with persuasion, and that taint keeps far too many managers from embracing the real value of persuasion.

But we all know that we have to do it, right? Admit it: you know that you're going to be called upon to persuade others. Just because you wish you could just MAKE people do what you want, or that they would "just see it my way!" doesn't change the fact that every manager is expected to be persuasive.

Here's how to begin to think about it.


  [Play in Popup]

How to Leave a Voicemail

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • How do I make my voicemails effective?
  • How long should my voicemails be?
  • What do I need to include in my voicemails?

This cast describes how to leave an effective voicemail.

If you've ever gotten a voicemail which sounded like, "[your name], this is [their name], call me," you know why we're doing this cast.

Phone manners have been steadily decreasing for decades. When boys used to call for Mark's daughter Kate, they would slouch verbally through, "Is Kate there?" and Mark would answer, "Yes," and hang up. He safely assumed that any person who asked that question was a boy, and not enough of a gentleman to be allowed to speak with her. (At first she rolled her eyes, but later she liked the hurdle that Mark's demand created: those boys that never got it ended up being...well, boys.)

What about at work? The "Bob this is Joe call me" is only one example. It ranks right up there with "saw that you called, what's up?" answered with, "did you, errrrr...listen to my voicemail?"

In this cast, we have recommendations for how to leave a voicemail. We think of this as the first cast on phone skills...out of several hundred to come.


  [Play in Popup]

How to be Effective in Everyday Conversations

Questions This Guidance Answers: 
  • Why do we communicate?
  • How can I persuade people to my point of view?
  • How do I make good conversation?

In this cast, we describe how to be effective in everyday conversations.

We've spent a great deal of time on managerial communications, and for good reason. Managers rely on communication to achieve the very basic requirement of their role: aligning and inspiring others to achieve more than they could do on their own. As a former boss of mine was fond of saying, "you may be smarter than me, but you're not smarter than WE."

But, there are a lot of different kinds of communication. We've talked about meetings, and feedback, and coaching, and late stage coaching, and delivering reviews...and there are hundreds more.

Including plain old conversations.

Conversations are our most FREQUENTLY used verbal communication form, aren't they? So why does everyone want to know the right way to do all those other managerial communications — like feedback: "do I REALLY have to say FEEDBACK?!?" — but nobody seems to ask about conversations?

In this cast, we'll share the MOST VALUABLE CONVERSATIONAL COMMUNICATION TOOL you'll ever learn (that your mom didn't teach you).


  [Play in Popup]